Washington's Economy

Economy
10:41 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Washington jobs figures show mixed signals

Employment surveys were indicating positive numbers about the economy earlier this year, but those signals have grown less clear in the past couple months.
Associated Press

Washington's employment data is showing mixed signals about the direction of the state's economy.

New figures released Wednesday morning by the Employment Security Department show Washington's unemployment rate grew to 9.2 percent in June, even though a separate indicator showed that the state added 3,600 jobs.

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Business
11:06 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Washington lost jobs in May

Associated Press

Washington's slow economic recovery is sputtering.

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Tough Times
7:19 am
Fri May 27, 2011

Grays Harbor Paper closing Hoquiam mill

Hoquiam's skyline, in better days. Grays Harbor Paper is closing its mill there, eliminating 240 'green' jobs in a county with unemployment already at nearly 15%.
Photo by MïK Flickr

Grays Harbor Paper has shut down its mill in Hoquiam, putting a dour end to what had been a success story for 18 years. 

240 workers are losing their jobs. Many were shocked by the announcement, according to King-5 news.

“I thought this place was going to be in for the long haul,” said Tony Harris, who had worked for Grays Harbor Paper for two years.

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Business
3:05 am
Fri April 22, 2011

Two online companies' IPOs bode well for Seattle's tech biz scene

Seattle-based PopCap Games San Francisco studios general manager Dave Rohrl, left, plays a guitar video game with PopCap senior game designer George Fan in 2006, at the company office in San Francisco.
Ben Margot AP

"Initial Public Offering," or I-P-O, is a buzz term that was talked about a lot in the boom years of the late 1990s – especially in Seattle, where lots of high-tech startup companies were thriving at that time.  They've been pretty scarce lately.  But they may be coming back.

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Microsoft
2:40 am
Thu March 10, 2011

Xbox Kinect sales hit 10 million, setting Guinness World Record

Microsoft says during its first three months on the market, the Kinect sold at a pace of, on average, more than 130,000 per day.
AP

Microsoft's Xbox is breaking records in the gaming world. The company says it has already sold 10 million of its newfangled motion-controller device, the Kinect, since the product launched in November.

That's a world record.

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Real Estate
7:22 am
Fri March 4, 2011

King County home prices down 7% compared to last year

A jogger and dog run past a house posted with a new price in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Foreclosures and uncertainty are clogging up the real estate market, and one local expert says prices won't go up again before next year.

The median price of a home in King County  is down nearly 7% compared to a year ago.  That's one of many tidbits in the mass of numbers released this month by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. 

Sales data for February show the median sales price in Washington's most populous county down 7 percent compared to last year. The median price of a home in King County has dropped to $320-thousand dollars. That's about $23,000 dollars less than in February of last year. 

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD
10:59 am
Tue February 15, 2011

Obama's budget plan would boost JBLM construction

Army Col. Thomas Brittain, (r), and Air Force Col. Kenny Weldon, (r), shake hands upon the merger of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base into Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Feb. 2010.
Ted S. Warren AP

Construction at Joint Base Lewis-McChord would increase further if Congress adopts President Obama's 2012 budget proposal.

The News Tribune reports that the spending plan released Monday would set aside more than $300 million for construction at the base south of Tacoma, up from about $172 million in the 2011 budget proposal Congress has yet to approve.

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Unemployment
9:31 pm
Sun February 6, 2011

Jobs scarce for young adults in Washington

Frank Benish shows Leah Scott how to operate a cement polisher on Aug. 10, 2010. The demonstration was part of the SODO, Inc., program that helps disadvantaged young people gain job experience.
Seeking Opportunities Developing Occupations (SODO, Inc.)

If you’ve been to grocery stores, malls or restaurants lately – you might have noticed the people working there are a little older than usual. Young adults haven’t had much luck getting those jobs or other entry level work for the last couple of years. At least 123,700 Washingtonians between the ages of 18 and 25 years old want a job but can't find one, according to census data and state surveys. 

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Boeing
6:50 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Senator Cantwell demanding answers in tanker competition after latest Air Force blunder

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., (right) talks with Boeing 767 employees Anna Karsky (left) and Maeghan Smith Hudon below the wing of a 767 at Boeing's plant in Everett.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU

US Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) says the US Air Force contract for the next generation of refueling tankers should not be awarded until questions are answered about the military's latest snafu. 

A decision on who wins the $35-billion contract is expected as early as next month. 

In November, the Air Force admitted that it had inadvertently mixed up two packages of information.  It sent details of Boeing's bid to Airbus-parent EADS and of EADS's bid to Boeing. 

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Managing Growth
9:02 pm
Tue December 21, 2010

Lakewood releases Lewis-McChord growth coordination plans

Traffic along I-5 in the area of Joint Base Lewis-McChord often looks like this, and is getting worse a the base's population booms.
NorthwestMilitary.com

When 17-thousand troops returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan this past fall, Joint Base Lewis McChord became the 3rd largest employer in the state. 

That's according to the City of Lakewood, which has released a plan to accommodate the rapid population growth in the communities around the base. 

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Commercial Airplanes
6:10 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Boeing Increasing Output of Popular 777 Jets

The news of increased production comes despite an announcement from Boeing last week that customers canceled orders for three 777s and one of its 787s.
Courtesy of Boeing

Boeing is still struggling to iron out kinks in the production of its new 787 Dreamliner.  The company is expected to announce the latest delay for that program this week. 

Meantime, it says demand is so great for its tried and true 777 that it will be increasing output of that jet.

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Washington's Economy
6:11 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Unemployment Taxes Going Up Again

Washington's Employment Security Department is sending out 2011's tax-rate notices this week to more than 170,000 businesses.

The agency says next year's average rate will increase by nearly a full percentage point.  Most employers' rates are going up for the second year in a row.  It's the highest average rate in more than two decades. 

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Boeing
5:23 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Trusted analyst fuels rumor: tanker bid will go to EADS, not Boeing

One of the US Airforce's aging KC-135 tankers refuels an F-18 Hornet midflight. The contract to replace the US fleet of refuelling tankers is estimated to be worth $40 B.
U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Perry Solomon

A leading defense analyst who had previously predicted a Boeing win in the competition to build the US Air Force's next generation of refueling tankers now says Airbus parent EADS will likely get the $40-billion contract. 

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State Budget Crisis
4:50 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Gregoire to call special session on budget

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says she will call a special session of the legislature to address the ballooning budget crisis. The Democrat made the announcement Monday afternoon following a meeting with legislative leaders from both parties. 

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State Budget Crisis
5:08 am
Mon December 6, 2010

Protests to greet state lawmakers as budget cuts loom

Washington lawmakers return to Olympia this week, but not for a special session. They're getting organized for the regular session in January. That will bring out advocates who plan to stage protests over looming budget cuts.

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